New Rule: Airlines Will Be Required to Refund Passengers for Canceled and Delayed Flights

Have you paid more to take a certain flight at a specific time . . . only to have a delay or cancellation completely derail your schedule?  Most of us have . . . and usually, there’s little to no compensation from the airlines.

Well, that’s changing.

Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg had a news conference yesterday, where he announced that within six months, airlines will be required to comply with new rules, which will REQUIRE cash refunds for cancellations and long delays as an “expansion of passenger rights.”

But you won’t get $300 for a one-hour delay.  Here’s how it’ll work:

Passengers will be “entitled to a refund if their flight is canceled or significantly changed, and they do not accept alternative transportation or travel credits.”  This includes airlines changing your itinerary before the day of your trip.

The delays covered would be “more than three hours for domestic flights” and “more than six hours for international flights.”

This includes tickets purchased directly from airlines, travel agents, AND third-party sites like Expedia and Travelocity.

To be clear:  You get the refund if you DON’T take the later (delayed or re-scheduled) flight.  So, if your flight is canceled, and they’re able to put you on a flight the next morning, if you opt to take it, that’s accepting “alternative travel.”

This is basically to save travelers from having to haggle and chase down compensation if they need to bail on a flight because of a delay or cancellation.  They have to give you a refund in cash . . . so no “travel vouchers” . . . within seven days.

(You are NOT getting paid just for the inconvenience.)

The DOT is also requiring airlines to give cash refunds on luggage if your bags are lost and not delivered to you within 12 hours.

And the new rules also force airlines to refund you for extra services you specifically paid for and DIDN’T get . . . like wi-fi, premium seat selections, and in-flight entertainment.

(ABC News / The Hill)